While Sartre once said “Hell is other people,” those of us in the modern-day metropolis known as Orange County sometimes feel the urge to meet-and-greet, but are often at a loss as where to start. This part of California has a long history of fantastic bars, from those in the dive category to up-scale suburban suites, with a few dance clubs and local watering holes in between. With this list, you should be able to figure out which potential mates are right for you and the exact location to meet your future dream date.
Pierce Street Annex
330 East 17th St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
Containing potentially the most well-rounded fun on this list, Pierce Street Annex has everything from coin-op arcade machines to pool tables, as well as some raucous Karaoke on Monday nights. Lacking a cover charge, the semi-historic bar is now in its 36th year of business. Budget-minded bar goers looking for a diverse crowd will be happy to learn that Pierce Street Annex welcomes one and all and does not ask for too much cash in the process. Those looking to let their hair down and dress casually will find a lot to love at this Costa Mesa bar and maybe just someone to love too.
Port Restaurant and Bar
440 Heliotrope Ave.
Corona Del Mar, CA 92625
If being single has become synonymous with dive bar meet-ups, give Port Restaurant and Bar a look for a change of pace. The upscale dining and excellent atmosphere here makes up for some of the area’s more divey and dimly lit alternatives. With a seven-day happy hour and a plethora of palate pleasers, Port also offers an outdoor patio and live entertainment to enjoy while talking up a new acquaintance. The semi-lavish seating and slightly Mediterranean style give this place enough reason to look for someone with a similar style.
1870 Harbor Blvd.
Costa Mesa CA 92627
Aside from hosting world-class DJ’s and electronic dance artists, Sutra is a one-stop shop for mingling with the opposite sex to the beats of a great soundtrack. Designed as a Hollywood club for Orange County, the drinks flow across the four bars within the Costa Mesa hotspot. Free parking will alleviate the sometimes higher priced spirits, and the multiple bars mean short waiting time for drinks. If an EDM-obsessed hottie is your one true love, Sutra is the place to go.
Newport Beach Brewing Company
2920 Newport Blvd.
Newport Beach, CA 92663
This may be the best bar to occupy if you take beer seriously and want to meet someone who shares your affinity for a tasty brew. With great beer comes great pizza, and the Newport Beach Brewing Company has that, too. A local favorite for many years, this award-winning brewery hosts all of the top sports games, so if your desired mate is into organized athletics, he or she will be found here. With great beers prices and a close-to-the-beach locale, Newport Beach Brewing Company is a top spot.
The Shark Club
841 Baker St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Known for its music and party atmosphere, The Shark Club in Costa Mesa and its various themed nights offer an excuse to dance and converse until the wee hours of the morning. This club can have some 18-and-over shows, which should make the underaged happy, but has the potential to make the older crowd wary. The Shark Club boasts multiple dance floors and an outdoor space to cool off in between playlists. For any singles feeling adventurous, there is even a stripper pole in this bar, but we warned: you will have to remain fully clothed to show off your moves.
Jesse Seilhan is a writer, editor and photographer from the California Bay Area. After moving to Long Beach, Jesse continues his passion for writing and music by covering concerts, interviewing top artists, and giving a dose of wisdom in a crazy, mixed-up musical world. His work can be found at Examiner.com.